TikTok: Kids can access anorexic and suicidal content in just minutes

TikTok has been criticized by its proponents as well as its contenders. On the other hand, they all use the social network’s demonically efficient algorithm to discuss their positions. On the one hand, the app’s followers claim that no news feed on other platforms is this personal and sensitive. On the other hand, we believe it is very (very) easy to stumble upon dangerous content.

Both sides are right: Like any social network, TikTok can be a ditch of the Internet’s worst failings, or it can be a goldmine of hilarious jokes and highly creative content. However, it is imperative to take into account the average age of users, especially younger ones, when it comes to the Chinese app. And unfortunately, the preservation of the latter leaves much to be desired.

According to this research, TikTok is “every parent’s nightmare”

The Digital Anti-Hate Center (CCDH) wanted to determine how quickly a minor can access content that is dangerous to their mental health. For this, the association has created accounts in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, divided into two categories: “standard” and “vulnerable”. They all acted like 13-year-olds, which is the minimum age to join the platform. “Vulnerable” accounts have “weight loss” embedded in their nicknames.

To influence the algorithm, all accounts liked videos on eating disorders, physical appearance and mental health for a period of 30 minutes. The results obtained are instructive. After this operation, it took only 3 minutes for standard accounts and 8 minutes for eating disorder content before it crashed into content about suicide. Vulnerable accounts, meanwhile, received 3x more exposure to such content and 12x more recommendations for videos about self-harm.

“The results are every parent’s nightmare”said Imran Ahmed, general manager of CCDH. “Young people’s news feeds are bombarded with harmful and touching content that can have a significant cumulative impact on their physical and mental health, as well as their understanding of the world around them. »

Source : Guard

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